Premier League - Papers: City turn to Cesc

Wed, 11 May 09:04:00 2011

With a Champions League berth in the bag, Manchester City are set to begin their biggest summer spending spree yet - and Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is top of their shopping list, according to Wednesday's papers.

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City boss Roberto Mancini told The Sun that Fabregas is the key player who could take the club to a Premier League title next season - but while Arsenal seemed happy to sell their key man to Barcelona if the price was right, would they let him go to a title rival at any price?

Mancini added that he would love to bring Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic - who he coached during his time with Internazionale - to Eastlands. "If Zlatan wants to come to City, I would immediately find a place for him," said the Italian.

Finding that space might turn out to be easier than expected, with rumours increasing that Carlos Tevez is on his way out of Eastlands. The Independent reports that the Argentine directed a torrent of abuse at the City manager while waiting to make an appearance as a substitute during the crucial match against Tottenham on Tuesday night - and Real Madrid and Internazionale have both been linked with moves to win the star's signature this summer.

Former World Player of the Year Kaka has been tipped with a move in the opposite direction - but if he does end his unhappy spell at Real Madrid by moving to the Premier League, he won't be going to Manchester.

Instead, he looks set to join Chelsea, says the lead story in the Daily Mirror - and whose provenance appears impeccable after the player's mum let the cat out of the bag with a Tweet on Tuesday, removed shortly afterwards, insisting that "next season we will be in London". She also added that she would be "spreading the word of God", suggesting that sales of crucifixes in the boutiques on the King's Road could be set to soar.

Liverpool have emerged as favourites to land Ashley Young from Aston Villa this summer, according to The Guardian.

The paper claims that the Reds are planning a summer spending spree after becoming increasingly confident in the abilities of Kenny Dalglish to keep the side moving in the right direction. That spree would apparently start with a £15 million move for the England winger, whose contract runs out next year.

Young's decision to leave could yet change, however, with a report in the Mirror that Dutch legend Frank Rijkaard is top of the shortlist for the manager's job should Gerard Houllier not be well enough to return to the hot seat. The 48-year-old - a Champions League and Liga-winning coach with Barcelona - has been unemployed since leaving Turkish giants Galatasaray last autumn.

After stories concerning Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on Tuesday, Tottenham have today been linked with moves for two more goalies. The Daily Mail claims that Ajax's Maarten Stekelenburg is on Harry Redknapp's radar as a replacement for the inconsistent Heurelho Gomes, with the Daily Express claiming that Birmingham's £10m-rated Ben Foster is their number one target.

Another Ajax player, defender Jan Vertonghen, has been tipped for a move to Manchester City after being watched by Mancini at the weekend - but the Daily Mail report adds that Arsenal are also in the hunt for the Belgium international.

Manchester United are to offer a new deal to Antonio Valencia to keep him at Old Trafford (Daily Mirror), while Fulham apparently have three weeks to nail Mark Hughes down to a new contract if they want to stop him moving on for nothing (The Sun).

And finally, amid all the scoffing about FIFA bigwigs demanding honours from Lord Triesman in return for World Cup votes, there's an interesting piece in the Daily Telegraph picking up on some corruption a little closer to home.

Triesman claimed that Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore offered to put the league behind England's 2018 bid if the FA agreed to back money-spinning plans for a 39th game of the Premier League season, with each team to have played their extra match overseas in order to generate as much revenue as possible.

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